Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2011 is awarded to Daniel Shechtman

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2011 has been awarded to Daniel Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals. He has previously been awarded the Wolf prize in Physics.

Quasicrystals are substances whose molecular structure is ordered in a form similar to crystals but is not periodic. Such materials can naturally form into geometrical solids just as crystals can, but the solids formed from crystals are always shapes that can tessellate space, such as a cube. Quasicrystals on the other hand can form shapes such as a dodecahedron.  The mathematical patterns that describe the layouts of the molecules were studied by Roger Penrose but have also been found in some ancient arabic art.

Shechtman was the first to make such crystals in 1984.

Ho-Mg-Zn icosahedral quasicrystal

4 Responses to Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2011 is awarded to Daniel Shechtman

  1. The beauty and utility of Chemistry is spell bound.
    Congratullations to Prof.Daniel Shechtman.

  2. Luboš Motl says:

    Dear Dr Nair,

    it’s the kind of chemistry that was published in Physical Review Letters. ;-)

    The natural icosahedron is just cool.


  3. anna v says:

    A contributor in wattsupwiththat .com has found the following utube link, no comments necessary:

    sorry for the long link.

  4. That kind of chemistry is also of interest for physicists and material scientists reading Physical Review Letters


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